Tokyo stocks down as Turkey jitters continue

Pedestrians stand in front of a stock indicator displaying numbers of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (top C) and the world’s major markets in Tokyo. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)
Updated 15 August 2018
0

Tokyo stocks down as Turkey jitters continue

  • Tokyo stocks erase early gains to finish lower in Wednesday trading, as Turkey’s currency crisis fuels concerns of contagion to other emerging economies
  • Tokyo shares opened higher after Wall Street advanced on Tuesday as Turkey’s lira recovered some ground

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks erased early gains to finish lower in Wednesday trading, as Turkey’s currency crisis fueled concerns of contagion to other emerging economies and pressured Asian shares.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which jumped more than two percent on Tuesday, lost 0.68 percent or 151.86 points to 22,204.22.
The broader Topix index was down 0.76 percent or 12.92 points at 1,698.03.
Tokyo shares opened higher after Wall Street advanced on Tuesday as Turkey’s lira recovered some ground.
But they soon fell into negative territory as Turkey’s financial woes continued weighing on investor sentiment in the region, sending key Asian shares down.
“While the lira is stabilising, investors are still concerned that the crisis will spread to other emerging economies and currencies,” said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
“Trading is expected to remain nervous for now,” Sato told AFP.
Investors were watching closely after the lira hit record lows on Monday and equity markets dropped sharply on concerns Turkey’s financial crisis could spread globally.
“Risk aversion triggered by the lira’s plunge is taking a breather for now,” Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.
But he noted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had not eased his tough stance as he said Turkey would boycott US electronic goods like the iPhone in response to punitive sanctions from Washington.
“We can’t take our eyes off the Turkish situation as how this will develop is increasingly uncertain,” Ito said.
Earlier Wednesday, Turkey announced it was hiking tariffs on a range of US goods in “retaliation for the conscious attacks on our economy by the US administration.”
The dollar was at 111.26 yen in Asian afternoon trade against 111.21 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.
In individual stocks trade, shares of game makers plunged as China’s regulators have reportedly frozen approvals of game licenses amid a government shakeup.
Online game company Nexon slumped 5.85 percent to 1,318 yen, general game maker Capcom dropped 2.70 percent to 2,558 yen and Nintendo was down 2.95 percent at 34,850 yen.
Toyota fell 0.71 percent to 6,815 yen as Nissan lost 0.38 percent to 1,033.5 yen.
Panasonic dropped 1.13 percent to 1,390.5 yen with Sony down 0.39 percent at 6,000 yen.


Saudi Aramco Trading aims for 50% rise in oil trade volume in 2020

Updated 4 min 29 sec ago
0

Saudi Aramco Trading aims for 50% rise in oil trade volume in 2020

  • About 50 percent of the 2.5 million bpd of oil products it trades currently are hedged
  • The company is also looking at building its capacity in trading liquefied natural gas

SINGAPORE: Saudi's Aramco Trading Company (ATC) expects to increase its oil trading volume to 6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, 50 percent higher than current levels, the company's top official said on Monday.

"Currently ... we're at 4 million barrels per day and with expansion I think our target is 6 million barrels per day," President and Chief Executive Ibrahim Al-Buainain said at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC).

About 50 percent of the 2.5 million bpd of oil products it trades currently are hedged, he said.

The company is also looking at building its capacity in trading liquefied natural gas (LNG), using its Singapore office as a trading hub, Buainain said.

ATC plans to set up its European office in either Geneva or London and also aims to have an office in Fujairah to manage oil storage, he said.

In Singapore, Buainain said he expects the company's office to grow to 30 to 40 people within the next two years.

ATC also expected to benefit from a switch by ships to cleaner fuels in 2020 as mandated by the International Maritime Organization.

"The second-hand effect of the IMO is the oversupply of high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) which in our case is a positive because we are net short on fuel oil and that will help us in meeting our requirements (for HSFO) in power generation," Buainain said.

Buainain has headed the trading arm of Saudi Aramco since 2016.

ATC was set up in 2012 to market refined products, base oils and bulk petrochemicals. It started trading non-Saudi crude oil and refined products from its overseas refineries in the past years as the world's largest oil exporter seeks to optimise profits.